Friday, May 20, 2011

Anglomania - Vivienne Westwood Wallcoverings

'Dresses' and hats made of Westwood's wall coverings.
Union Jack, Cut-out Lace, Squiggle.
I know I'm a little late getting to this, but I am so excited I'm going to write about it anyway.  I was at Lee Jofa sourcing wall paper for a job and was stopped in my tracks by a wonderful sight: Vivienne Westwood wall coverings.  The Brit Designer has partnered with the equally reputable Brit company of Cole & Sons to produce a collection based on Dame Viv's iconic style.  Overcome with excitement, I ripped the book from the shelf and dove in.  You may think this sounds over dramatic, but I like what I do, and I'd a bit of a label whore, and I'm an Anglophile.

Westwood is one of my favorite designers (I rank her with genius of La Croix and Gaultier); her wit and eccentricity translates the familiar and historic into the irreverent and sly.  She honors heritage with a wink and a nod and remixes it for a new generation more than happy to dwell on the past.  Her vocabulary of pattern and color as well as her penchant for British iconography translates into the realm of home design flawlessly. 

Vivienne Westwood, resplendent in
cardboard earrings with pen and ink
'jewels'.  The accessories from this
collection inspired the 'Paper Jewels'
pattern of wall covering.
Her collection is above all else graphic; a mix patterns based on men's shirting and hounds tooth, bias plaids (which I j'adore), and delicate jeweled florals.  She gleefully experiments with computer enhanced images, creating patterns that replicate antique lace, an aged Union Jack, and a dynamic wall mural that appears to be made of ruched tartan taffeta.

In a market clotted with safe selections, haggard over used motifs and some just plain ugly things, it's great to see something for the individual with a degree of taste.  If I see one more Fornasetti woman winking or one more Trellage dining room I'm going to climb a bell tower and throw bricks at people.

You won't see Westwood's paper is every home, hotel or restaurant; it's for the person with the most cultivated of tastes, who doesn't rely on the decrees of design dictators to make the decisions for them.  A person who wants to strike out against the masses in a beautiful, poetic way.  It would seem that Viv is selling her own gumption by the roll, readying you for your own fashion revolution.  I'll get the paste and the drop cloth. 
- Ian

Insects was inspired by details found on the wardrobe
of Queen Elizabeth I.

Trompe L'oeil Drape simulates a wall of ruched Tartan.
The pattern is an homage to Westwood's draping technique.
The drapery used is copied from a Tartan wedding dress from
Westwood's Fall/Winter 39/94 Anglomania collection. 

A Westwood gown reinterprets a historic form.

The Squiggle pattern brings to mind decorative braid.
It dates from Westwood's Fall/Winter 81/82 Pirate Collection.
Magnolia, Squiggle & Cut-out Lace.

Absense of Rose, Insects, Vivienne's Lace.

Absense of Roses brings to mind Edwardian paper silhouettes.
The addition of gold ink 'studs' add definition and dimension.

Paper Jewels has French appeal, with flowers formed from
jewelers illustrations and pear cut stones acting as dew drops.

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